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    Sale 7656

    Nordic Art

    15 May 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 110

    Christen Købke (Danish, 1810-1848)

    Luftstudie. Rødlig aftenhimmel med tunge sortgra skyer (Air study. Reddish evening sky with heavy Black-Grey Clouds)

    Price Realised  

    Christen Købke (Danish, 1810-1848)
    Luftstudie. Rødlig aftenhimmel med tunge sortgra skyer (Air study. Reddish evening sky with heavy Black-Grey Clouds)
    oil on cardboard
    6 1/8 x 9¼ in. (15.5 x 23.5 cm.)
    Painted circa 1840-45


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    Christen Købke studied at the Art Academy as a teenager and went on to study with C.W. Eckersber, Denmark's leading Golden Age painter. A favourite of Hammershøi's, he is today one of Denmark's most beloved painters, and many of his paintings have acquired a status as national monuments. Købke is particularly well loved for his many views of his contemporary Copenhagen. Highly atmospheric and luminous, they embody the Golden Age movement. Frequently, the sky is given speical dominance in his landscapes, taking up almost all of the space, with the city barely visible towards the bottom. In other works, Købke focuses purely on the sky itself, painting air. The immaterial qualities of light are masterfully captured and following meteorological precision, and the clouds assume a narrative function in themselves. Paying as much attention to the particularities of the clouds as he would to a facce, he literally achieves the equivalent to a portrait. Cloud painting was a highly regarded academic discipline in Europe at this time, favoured by Turner, Constable, Denis and Valenciennes. Although it is not certain that Købke was directly inspired by these artists, a common fascination with the formless language of the sky is evident.

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    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    The artist's sale, 1848, no. 43.
    P. C. Skovgaard.
    Niels Skovgaard.
    Anonymous sale, Kunsthallen, 23 November 1959.
    Anonymous sale, Bruun Rasmussen, January 1988, lot 27.
    Anonymous sale, Bruun Rasmussen, 22 August 1990, lot 28
    Lars Rostrup Bøysen and thence by descent to the present owner.


    Literature

    H. E. Nørregaard-Nielsen, Christen Købke, Gyldendal, Copenhagen, 1996, vol. 3, p. 180 (illustrated).


    Exhibited

    Copenhagen, Statens Museum for Kunst, Købke pa Blegdammen og ved Sortedamssøen, September - November 1981.
    Copenhagen, Statens Museum for Kunst, Christen Købke, February - May 1996.